Jade’s Jam Returns To Benson For Fifth Year

Furbabies were a plenty in Benson last year during Jade’s Jam, an annual animal rescue event. One attraction was a kissing booth. Shown here, Taylor Byrd, a member of the Rescue Rangers animal adoptions, takes time out from selling kisses to stealing one of his own from one of the animals up for adoption at Saturday’s event, River the black lab.

Pet adoptions, accessories, food all on tap

It’s the first weekend in April and it can mean only one thing to pet lovers — it’s time for Jade’s Jam.

The event takes place from 10 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Benson Singing Grove. Food vendors, pet supplies, pet-related crafts and animal rescues offering new family friends are just the tip of the iceberg.

Event founder Corinne Coats said the event had a modest beginning five years ago and has quickly become a place where people and pets can find something to do together.

“It’s picking up every year,” she said. “We’ve got more people involved this year than any other year in the past. I’m looking forward to seeing between 500 or even 1,000 people come and visit the Jam.”

While there are plenty of things to buy, see and check out, the main idea is to connect people with adoptable pets.

There will be a red-carpet walk for pets looking for a permanent home featuring as many as 100 animals, according to Ms. Coats, and there will be several rescue groups on hand.

“That gives rescues a way to showcase the adoptable animals,” she said. “I’m going to say we’re expecting at least 100 if not more than that. And we have a cat rescue coming out, so hopefully we’ll have more than 100 animals available.”

They include Paw Project of Dunn, the Black Dog Club of Four Oaks, Rescue Rangers, Puffie’s Rescue, the Johnston County Animal Protection League from Smithfield and Greyhound Rescue from Charlotte and Wilmington.

“We want to make this a local adopt-a-thon,” Ms. Coats said. “We’re hoping to have more adoptions this year than last.”

The number of rescues has risen with each Jade’s Jam. In its first year, the event saw just two adoptions. The following years saw those numbers increase from four the second year to nine last year. It’s a trend Ms. Coats is hoping to continue.

“The first year we had two, the following year we had four,” she said. “Then we had seven or eight and last year we had nine, so as long as we keep going up we’ll be fine.”

Ms. Coats said she’s excited to bring the event to Benson and to try and do more than just unite people with pets. It’s an all-inclusive event designed to make life with a pet more enjoyable.

“This event promotes responsible pet ownership,” she said. “It’s a great event for you to come out and enjoy specific things for dogs, like dog treats and CBD oil.”

As usual, there are plenty of vendors offering their wares. They range from wood crafts to dog-grooming and even microchipping.

Among the vendors are Carolina Crafters of Johnston County, Weston Crafts, Precious Fur Baby Bandannas, C&S Sand Art and Myke Adkins with Gray Wolf K-9 Training.

Other vendors include Johnston County Industries of Selma and Dunn as well as Michelle Wallace with metal signs. There’s also grooming available from Tia Marie and the Benson Animal Hospital will be available for rabies vaccinations and microchipping.

“We have a groomer, a pet photographer, and then we have Benson Animal Hospital coming out to do rabies vaccinations and microchipping,” she said. “We will have a lot of different types of local artisans including wood crafts, wreaths, T-shirts and many, many more. We will also have food trucks for your lunch and snacks like desserts and shaved ice.”

Everyone in the family is invited to attend, including the family furbabies. The only thing asked of pet owners is they be responsible with their pets to ensure the safety of all involved. Retractable leashes are prohibited.

“We would love to have the family and furbaby to come out,” Ms. Coats said. “Enjoy the day with us. We’ve got 60-plus vendors coming. We’ve got lunch covered. We just want everyone to come out and just enjoy the day and go shopping.”

-Dunn Daily Record